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Corinth officials OK purchase of police vehicles

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

CORINTH — City leaders approved more than $200,000 to buy five new police vehicles that will replace an aging portion of the police department’s fleet.

The City Council approved the purchases Thursday night, and Mayor Paul Ruggiere said replacing vehicles in a timely fashion is important to the department and the city.

“We try to replace the vehicles a little at a time because we don’t want them all wearing out at the same time,” he said. “That would create a real shock to the budget.”

The purchases were identified as unmet needs during budget preparations for the current 2012-13 fiscal year, said Lee Ann Bunselmeyer, city financial director.

Police Chief Debra Walthall told officials that in order to continue and maintain a reliable vehicle fleet, the police department needed the approval of expenditures for five vehicles.

City Manager Jim Berzina said the purchases were good investments and recommended that the council approve the purchases because of the department’s aging vehicles.

“We had one year where we bought a lot of vehicles and they all wore out all at the same time,” Berzina said. “We don’t want that happening again.”

The police department will purchase four sport utility vehicles and associated equipment for each. The department also will purchase one administrative vehicle — a non-pursuit rated sedan.

The four patrol vehicles will be paid for through Corinth’s vehicle replacement fund, and is not to exceed $198,120 for vehicles and equipment. The administrative vehicle will be paid for through the Crime Control and Prevention District funds, and is not to exceed $25,000.

The police department will purchase four Chevrolet Tahoes, which officials say are more reasonably priced and more easily maintained than most vehicles their size.

“They’re perfect for transporting equipment and people. They’re just more versatile,” Ruggiere said.

The fifth vehicle will be a Ford Taurus.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is